Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has declared his faith in the defensive unit that has got his team to tonight’s Champions League quarter-final with Paris Saint Germain.
City captain and defensive rock Vincent Kompany has been ruled out of the game with a recurring calf injury but Pelligrini is confident his replacements can get the job done.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his PSG colleagues come to the Etihad tonight with the tie finely balanced at 2-2 following the first leg in Paris last week.
Kompany has been out since the previous round against Dynamo Kiev last month, just weeks after returning from a similar injury.
Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala will be entrusted in central defence as City look to make the last four of the Champions League for the first time in their history.
“He is not 100 per cent. It is not possible,” Pellegrini said of Kompany.
“With this defence we played a lot of games here in the Premier League and in the Champions League and if we are in this stage it is because we have good defenders.
“We are always talking, seeing and working with all the defenders.
“Maybe they made some mistakes in the last game against PSG but I trust they will play in the level they can do it.”
PSG have been knocked out of the competition at the quarter-final stage in each of the last three seasons and their coach, Laurent Blanc, wants a breakthrough performance from his side.
Having dispatched Chelsea in the round of 16, PSG are looking to throw two English sides out of the competition but will have to do so without centre back David Luiz and midfielder Blaise Matuidi, who both miss the game through suspension.
Blanc said: “It will be a new era for French football if we go through, of course it would change things.
“It would make it a real breakthrough. But that is not enough. Ultimately, the club’s objective is to win the Champions League.
“There will be expectations until we win it. A lot of investment has been made. We have to show we are making progress.”